MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday welcomed Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is in the country for a two-day official visit.
The Turkish prime minister arrived in Malacañang Palace at 12:45 p.m. and was given full military honors.
After signing the guest book at the Palace’s Reception Hall, President Aquino received the Turkish leader in a courtesy call at the Music Room.
This was followed by a luncheon hosted by President Aquino at the President’s Hall in honor of Prime Minister Davutoğlu.
In his message during the luncheon, President Aquino said he hopes Turkey, under the leadership of Prime Minister Davutoğlu and President Tayyip Erdogan, could overcome the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
He also thanked Turkey for its contributions to the peace process in Mindanao that resulted in the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
“Mr. Prime Minister, it is upon this kind of solidarity that our two democratic nations, together with our partners in the international community, will work further towards building a future founded on peace, stability, and inclusiveness, not only for our peoples but also for the rest of the world,” the President said.
For his part, the Turkish prime minister praised President Aquino for his initiatives in ending the decades-long Muslim rebellion in Mindanao, noting Turkey’s participation in the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Despite the geographical distance, Turkey is always ready to assist the Philippines in facing any challenge, Prime Minister Davutoğlu said, noting that in 2011, Turkey helped the Philippines repatriate Filipinos affected by the conflict in Libya.
The visiting Turkish leader also acknowledged President Aquino’s good stewardship of the Philippine economy, making it one of the most rapidly growing economies in Asia.
He also thanked the President for the hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation.